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Thread: 1957 Buick Special 6.0 T56 8.8 Build Thread

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    1957 Buick Special 6.0 T56 8.8 Build Thread

    Hey everyone! My name is Eric and I'm a proud owner of a 1957 Buick Special 4 door. I got this vehicle back in september from a gentleman in Lexington Ky.

    As the story has it this was an old lady's car who had it garaged for most of its life. It apparently last saw the road according to the inspection sticker in 1984, was taken to a shop due to a blown engine in the late 90's early 2000'. That shop owner bought the car off of her. Shop decided to pull the drivetrain and install a 8.8 rear axle from a Ford LTD. It then was found by the owner I purchased it from in early 2000's who bought it and was gradually restoring it , redoing the brake system, cleaning up the chrome and front end inner fenders, installing a buick 350/th400 from his 70's GS he upgraded to a 455. But back problems and lack of motivation (and probably room due to this big car) had him put it up for sale on which I found it.





    When I recieved the vehicle, I had plans to get it driveable as soon as I could since I'm getting married in May of this year and would like to drive it to my wedding. I did a front disc brake conversion from scarebird, and had a driveshaft made for the existing drivetrain in the car. Things were looking up as it seemed like it just needed an exhaust, and to plumb a fuel system, everything else seemed like it was good to go. I was tinkering here and there with parts i had laying around , buying some wheels for it as the stock wheels had super old tires and were just in bad shape rust wise. even decided to attempt to use a ls ignition box to fire the old buick 350, i got it to spark but ended up changing my mind, a lot haha. the brake system had been redone but the master cylinder mounting strategy wasnt so great, i needed to fix that.

    Well the hot rodding bug within me decided that if I'm gonna drive this car, I'd like to make it my own. I've wanted an old car for a long time and this isnt necessarily my dream car but I want to build it like it is. I want it stock appearing , be reliable to drive whenever i'd like. be easy to drive. and be able to fix easily with available parts .






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    1957 Buick Special 6.0 T56 8.8 Build Thread

    Very nice car, I've always liked the 57's.
    Have you already bought the 6.0 engine?
    and for the master cylinder, it looks like there is room for a modern booster and master cylinder, has anyone made a bracket to mount one yet?

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    yeah I was going to post this as well but I had to wait for the thread to populate.


    Well the hot rodding bug within me decided thatif I'm gonna drive this car, I'd like to make it my own. I've wanted an old carfor a long time and this isnt necessarily my dream car but I want to build itlike it is. I want it stock appearing ,be reliable to drive whenever i'd like.be easy to drive. and be able to fix easily with available parts.


    Now I have quite a few ls swaps under my beltfrom old gm trucks to my latest sale of my 3 year project mazda rx7. I decided that the buick needed to have an lsas well.i stumbled upon a cheap t56 andi decided to put it in my mazda, and use the rebuilt nice one out of it forthis buick.so 6.0 t56 it was.Now the car was an automatic, so no clutchpedal.I needed to figure out how to goabout that.I bought a setup from kugelskomponents and decided to make a piece to mount to the firewall and mount thepedals as well.


    also in order to make it easier to drive idecided to convert the manual, 6 turns lock to lock steering to a power boxfrom an astro with 2.5 turns lock to lock.


    at this point i'm wondering why i ripped apartall systems to start over and have such a short deadline, apparently i like achallenge lol.


    so ill break down each system as to what it willhave:


    Engine:


    6.0 Aluminum LS2, L92 Rectangle port heads, LS9camshaft, Painted factory Buick green, holley midrise intake, to look"retro" instead of like all ls swaps look.

















    Transmission:


    Fbody T56, stage 2 rebuild, mcleod rst twin discclutch, shifter maybe stock with a custom shift rod and knob (undecided at thispoint), 3/4 wilwood clutch master cylinder





    Rear axle:


    8.8 Ford LTD (2.73ish) rear end ratio, may bechanged (after wedding) to something in the 3's or 4's, drum brakes


    Exhaust:


    Headers, to single exhaust out passenger side,may be converting to turbo in the future


    Fuel:


    90 Cadillac EFI Fuel tank, Walbro 400 fuel pump,Corvette Fuel filter/regulator


    Cooling:


    Recored stock radiator, not sure on electric fanor mechanical fan yet.


    Brakes:


    Dual chamber master cylinder, 8" dualdiaprahgm booster, scarebird front end disc brake conversion to 12"riviera rotors and astro calipers and pads. custom firewall piece for kugelskomponents assembly











    Steering:


    Astro power steering box adapted to factory buicklinkage, new tie rod ends, new sway bar bushings, custom pitman arm from partsmike in CA


    Suspension:


    stock, may make big changes in the future


    Wheels:








    Dodge ram 20x8 Steelies 5x5 used with adaptersdue to the 2 different bolt patterns. 245/35r20 tires. will try to adaptfactory buick center caps to them.


    So thats the plan for now hopefully ill be ableto put it all into motion and at least get it driveable , and then work thekinks out after my wedding







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    pardon the mess, I had just finished a quick square body ls swap to make some money to fund this, I believe ill probably be cleaning the garage up this weekend lol its never been this bad

    here the painted engine and trans mated together, will test fit Friday when I have time again.



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    1957 Buick Special 6.0 T56 8.8 Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by etizz View Post

    Painted factory Buick green, holley midrise intake, to look"retro" instead of like all ls swaps look.



    Lol not that theres anything wrong with how all LS swaps look

    Are you using a drive by wire throttle body then? And have you measured to see where that shifter is going to be? seems like it might be close to the bench seat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    Lol not that theres anything wrong with how all LS swaps look

    Are you using a drive by wire throttle body then? And have you measured to see where that shifter is going to be? seems like it might be close to the bench seat.
    Haha no offense with your ls cars , it still looks good , just I want to try something different this time . I'll still Be doing drive by cable , I'm making a piece for the intake to work , also I'm not sure about the shifter location it'll probably be under the seat after I got the engine this weekend lol I'll have pics of it soon

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    well this is almost the final fit, took me all day Saturday to fab mounts that would work the way I want. trans needs to come up a few inches in order to get the angle right, but I have to cut for the shifter hole before it will go any higher overall im happy how far back and how low the engine is sitting in there. exhaust might be a challenge, my headers that I have laying around wont fit, hoping I can buy an off the shelf piece and not go completely custom, thinking of trying the hooker cast manifolds, plus it would look more "retro" with those anyway

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    Well one step forward two steps back haha. I cut the floor for the shifter hole so I could get the angle of the driveline looking better and actually mount the trans crossmember. Only to realize that my shifter is pretty much under the seat with it all the way back lol. So I moved the whole driveline forward an inch or two to where I could at least put the shifter base on, although the stock shifter might be too much throw in the end to not hit stuff while shifting. This process may sounds easy, but keep in mind I had to worry about 60 year old insulation setting on fire (which I may have had a scare there) while I was initially cutting the floor. I used a sawzall for the rest to minimize potential fire hazards lol although its not the nicest looking cut. That was somewhat good progress , but ill have to make a new trans crossmember due to the location shift forward. Not a big deal, but now my engine mounts I made are not lining up, so I had to fab some more engine mounts. I'm not finished with them yet, just have to mate them with a plate that bolts to the stock ls location again and it should be good. They look like they'll be stronger than the old cobbled together first attempt mess anyway. I also discovered that my new mount design and location will let me use my headers I have with no issues hitting the steering box or anywhere else, so that's exciting. I'm ready to get the engine mounted for good then I can start really making progress to get it done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etizz View Post
    Well one step forward two steps back haha. I cut the floor for the shifter hole so I could get the angle of the driveline looking better and actually mount the trans crossmember. Only to realize that my shifter is pretty much under the seat with it all the way back lol. So I moved the whole driveline forward an inch or two to where I could at least put the shifter base on, although the stock shifter might be too much throw in the end to not hit stuff while shifting. This process may sounds easy, but keep in mind I had to worry about 60 year old insulation setting on fire (which I may have had a scare there) while I was initially cutting the floor. I used a sawzall for the rest to minimize potential fire hazards lol although its not the nicest looking cut. That was somewhat good progress , but ill have to make a new trans crossmember due to the location shift forward. Not a big deal, but now my engine mounts I made are not lining up, so I had to fab some more engine mounts. I'm not finished with them yet, just have to mate them with a plate that bolts to the stock ls location again and it should be good. They look like they'll be stronger than the old cobbled together first attempt mess anyway. I also discovered that my new mount design and location will let me use my headers I have with no issues hitting the steering box or anywhere else, so that's exciting. I'm ready to get the engine mounted for good then I can start really making progress to get it done.
    Ha! Reminds me of building kitchen cabinets. I spent about a week on planning, forethought and drawings. Built the cabinets in 2 days. Takes a special kind of person to tackle a project like yours, I am not one of those people.

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    1957 Buick Special 6.0 T56 8.8 Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by etizz View Post
    Haha no offense with your ls cars , it still looks good , just I want to try something different this time . I'll still Be doing drive by cable , I'm making a piece for the intake to work , also I'm not sure about the shifter location it'll probably be under the seat after I got the engine this weekend lol I'll have pics of it soon
    None taken, I got a laugh out of it. Half of the car guys that see it roll their eyes so its very true haha

    They make offset T56 shifters, so the shifter comes out of the forward hole instead of the regular location. not the cheapest thing though.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/TREMEC-T-56-...dWShJo&vxp=mtr

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